I really hope Steve M is wrong about this.
…I’m predicting that Bernie Sanders won’t endorse Hillary Clinton. He’s going to fight to the last primary, then he’s going to try to twist superdelegates’ arms, then he and his people are going to demand a platform that resolves every disagreement between himself and Clinton in his favor. And when the platform fails to repudiate the party’s nominee on every point of disagreement, he’s going to walk. At best, he’ll offer a pro forma endorsement, maybe not until well after the convention is over, and then he’ll sit out the general election campaign. Because this is personal for him. He believes the Democrats won’t win if he’s not the nominee, so he does no damage by withdrawing from the fray. It’s all the fault of Clinton and the party establishment if she loses.
She is a weak candidate, and the party did try to grease the skids for her, but Barack Obama faced the same situation in 2008 and just put his head down and overcame the odds. And the ideas and voters Sanders represents should be in the tent — but at this point I think giving vent to gut-level anger means more to Sanders than either a Democratic victory in November or a partial win for his movement, with the possibility of greater victories to follow. He thinks he’s been screwed. And someone has to pay.
It’s been both nauseating and amusing to watch the Republicans who dismissed, trashed, and called Donald Trump enough names that Democratic super-PACs are building ads around them, but now that he’s got the nomination, they’re at least going through the motions of uniting behind him and making sham attempts to be sincere about it. Of course it’s all bullshit, but it plays well on Sunday morning TV and they can say, however awkwardly, that they’re all together now.
Mr. Sanders says over and over that it’s not about him and the reason he’s staying in the race is to keep his agenda and his ideas in the mix of the party. But the more he says it, he sounds more aggrieved on a personal level.
Someone who truly cares about the future of both the country and the political movement he stands for would at some point recognize when he’s lost the battle and deal with it without inflicting further collateral damage.
Rachel Maddow says it’s always been like this; acrimony between primary candidates is nothing new. That may easily be, but the stakes this time are a lot higher than before.